July 2020 Newsletter

July 23, 2020 Newsletter

Wednesday morning Online Industry Sessions

Over the past 3 months, CWSAA has hosted 12 Online Industry Sessions, averaging 70 participants each week. These sessions would not be possible without the support of all the wonderful members that have participated as presenters, panelists and engaged participants.  The sessions will return next week with a new topic.   In the meantime, most of the sessions have been recorded and are posted on the Member’s Only section of the CWSAA website.

Next Session:

Wednesday July 29 at 9:45am Pacific / 10:45am Mountain
Topic: Accident Investigation
Sign up for this session HERE.

About this session:  Mary Bozack, Director of Risk Management and Education, and Tim Hendrickson, Senior Vice President and Program Manager, from MountainGuard, will lead the discussion of best practices and the process of investigating and documenting an incident at your resort. Gathering facts, witness information, and photos timely is critical to the analysis of the occurrence and defense of a potential claim or litigation.

Sessions are open only to CWSAA Members.  There is no cost for members to participate, however you will need to register for each individual session by noon on Tuesday prior to the session.  Once registered, hold tight, we’ll send you the link to the session on Tuesday afternoon.

Advocacy Initiatives

Alberta passenger ropeways guidance document >> View guidance document
Alberta Health has released its latest version of the industry guidance document pertaining to passenger ropeways.  Originally drafted in the spring to anticipate the needs of summer, the most recent version incorporates considerations applicable to winter ski area operations.  Alberta Health Services and Ministry of Economic Development Trade and Tourism showed leadership and responsiveness, and worked effectively with industry to establish and communicate protocols that prioritized safety and implementable solutions.  CWSAA wishes to recognize the working committee of Alberta ski areas lead by Dave Riley and Courtney MacQuarrie of Sunshine Village for the hours committed to this effort.

Alberta Tourism Recovery
On June 30, the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta submitted to Premier Kenney A Call for Action Recommendations to Accelerate the Recovery, Sustainable Growth & Resilience of Alberta’s Visitor Economy. 

As part of the working Advisory Panel, CWSAA was a contributor and signatory to the submission.  Many of the recommendations to recovery from COVID build upon the government’s 10-year tourism strategy developed last year.  The report can be viewed at the links below and subsequent communication is being sent to Alberta ski areas to help highlight the needs of industry with MLAs.>> Letter to Premier. >> Alberta submission document.

Federal Wage Subsidy Extension
The continuation of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been one of the leading asks of the federal government by CWSAA and tourism counterparts.  On July 13th, Prime Minister Trudeau confirmed that the CEWS program will be extended until December 2020.  CWSAA has sent a letter to the Prime Minister, including Minister of Tourism Melanie Joly, to thank the government for its critical decision.  It also calls for a continuation of the program past December and to be linked with business level resumption and border openings.  Further details on the extension are now available HERE.

School Groups
School group visitation is critical to the short and long-term growth of the industry, and the physical and mental well being of youth across the country.  A CWSAA working group has formed and completed its first meeting to find solutions for school group visits to ski areas this coming winter.  Provincial regulations is a determining factor to the path going forward (e.g. back to school plans).  Existing school resources for ski areas that highlight the importance of outdoor activity for youth development are being recirculated to ski areas for their communication with school authorities.  Best practices for school groups and transportation will also be reviewed in coordination with the CWSAA risk committee work as back to school plans are confirmed.

B.C. Recovery Submission
Since March 2020, CWSAA has presented the ski industry and its associated communities as a pathway to economic recovery from COVID in rural BC.  In response to the Province’s Building BC’s Recovery, Together consultation, CWSAA has submitted a proposal for recovery through community infrastructure investment.  The recommendations call for a framework that includes applications from all communities regardless of municipal status.  The document highlights the successes of previous government investment that turned a one time $50 million investment into a $2 billion industry with an annual $121 million contribution to the Province in tax revenue.

The proposal purposefully aligns with a submission made by Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI communicates).  In a memo from CWSAA on July 23, ski areas were asked to share the documents with their MLAs and local governing bodies.

Appreciation is extended to the CWSAA government relations committee for the discussions on COVID recovery.  The submission was guided by a ski area committee chaired by Steve Paccagnan, with special acknowledgement to Brent Harley for his vision and contribution.

The CWSAA and RMI submissions focused on infrastructure stimulus funding for recovery and complement the Tourism Industry Association of BC’s recommendations for immediate relief and industry assistance that are also supported by CWSAA.  The important TIABC proposal outlines a $680 million plan for industry support based on the following:

  • Working Capital Recovery Grant ($475 million)
  • Support for Adaptation Costs ($190 million)
  • Support for Developing Resilient, B.C.-focused Supply Chains ($15 million)

The Province is expected to announce its plan in September.


Thank you to members for completing recent surveys, from the federal government and various associations.  This input significantly helps industry advocacy efforts.

AGM: Register to participate


CWSAA will be holding its annual AGM virtually on Wednesday August 19th.  It will be a short meeting from 9:45 am – 10:30 am Pacific (perhaps shorter!)

An official notice was sent on July 22, 2020.  Advance registration is required

> Click HERE to register.

COVID Safety Plans

CWSAA Member’s can access draft Recommended Practices for Ski Areas under COVID-19 in the Member’s Only section of our website.

As ski areas open for summer, there are some great communication examples regarding their COVID precautions and new resort experience:

Passenger Ropeways and Conveyors Act & Regulation Course

Technical Safety BC is offering an online course on Passenger Ropeways and Passenger Conveyers Act & Regulation.  This online course is designed to give supervisors, managers, maintenance and operational staff in the ski industry an overview of the Safety Standards Act, Safety Standards General Regulation and Elevating Devices Safety Regulation.  The course is free, however, to access you do need to create an online profile on their Learning Centre first (which is separate from your Client Services account). > Find out more.

go2HR COVID Resources

go2HR has a great section of COVID-19 resources, including a section on refreshing your COVID-19 Safety Plan.  As you ramp up your operations, opening up more areas and anticipating an increase in guest visits, you may need to strengthen existing controls or introduce some new measures.

> Check out the go2HR COVID Safety Plan info HERE.


go2HR and Destination BC have partnered up on several webinars.  The most recent webinar on revisiting your safety plan, includes a panel discussion with Grouse Mountain can be watched HERE.

CWSAA Partnerships

Use Promo Code CWSAA and receive 10% off your rental this season. 

> Book your vehicles today.

Move your people safely this coming season.

DRIVING FORCE can provide you with safe options for moving your ski clubs, teams and crew this winter.

DRIVING FORCE now carries all-wheel-drive 8, 10, 12 and 15 passenger vans available for rental, by the day, week, month or season. They have added extensive COVID-19 safety procedures, ready with full documentation for you to share with your safety officer, boards, and parents. Reserve your dates now with your vehicle needs. As with social distancing, we see an increased demand for larger vehicles and multiple vehicle rentals.

The Kal Tire and CWSAA partnership continues for the 2020/21 winter season.   A working group of ski areas are briefing with Kal Tire on improvements for the program this month.  Participation details are expected in August.

We’re Open!

Many ski areas across Western Canada have opened for summer operations.  Here are some photos and highlights.

Wildlife is a major attraction at Lake Louise. Since the resort opened on June 19 under COVID protocols, there have been lots of bear spottings.
Whistler Blackcomb opened summer operations on June 29. Mountain bikers are safely enjoying the trails this summer. Credit: Robin O'Neill
There were big smiles at SilverStar last weekend for opening day (July 9).
Revelstoke Mountain Resort's newest trail Pipe Wrench opened in early July to raving reviews from local riders. Photo: TJ Balon
Fernie's Bike park opened on June 27. New this year, Rubber Ducky has been completely redone from an advanced technical trail to an expert flow trail. Work is in the final stages and Rubber Ducky will be opening very soon. Photo: Nik Dunn.
Mt Norquay's via ferrata opened on June 19. Clair takes on the 4 hour Ridge Walker Via Ferrata tour (pictured above).
Panorama's new Mountain Centre For Adventure in Invermere opened June 13, providing a downtown retail outlet that also offers summer attraction and lift tickets.
Construction on Sun Peak's Crystal Chair replacement is well underway. Check out the construction video: https://youtu.be/ggDgDid5kes
Rangoon is Kicking Horse's newest Mountain Bike trail that runs from top to bottom.

Places & Faces

Jason Gill, the new Maintenance Planner at Grouse Mountain shows off the COVID safety protocols in the Grouse Mountain Skyride.

Congratulations to Katherine Seleski, GM at Pass Powderkeg.  Katherine was recently acknowledged by SAM Magazine in their annual Top under 30s. Read More.

Construction on the new TBar at Eastlink Park is moving along well.  Foundations for the lower station (pictured here) are now in place and many of the towers can be seen in the background.